Elon Musk says Neuralink plans 2020 human test of brain-computer interface

CNET | 7/17/2019 | Stephen Shankland
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Neuralink plans to test its brain machine interface technology with four of its N1 chips installed under patients' skin.

Neuralink, Elon Musk's startup that's trying to directly link brains and computers, has developed a system to feed thousands of electrical probes into a brain and hopes to start testing the technology on humans in in 2020, Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed Tuesday. And it's working already in animal tests. "A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain," Musk said at a San Francisco livestreaming the presentation on YouTube Tuesday, revealing even more research results than the company's scientists expected.

Neuralink - Goal - People - Brain - Cord

Neuralink's initial goal is to help people deal with brain and spinal cord injuries or congenital defects, Musk said. The technology could help paraplegics who have lost the ability to move or sense because of spinal cord injury -- a medical treatment that's a lot less shocking than radical sci-fi ideas like "consensual telepathy."

Watch this: Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to hook your brain to a computer...

Goal - Superintelligence - Layer - Humans - Intelligence

But the long-term goal is to build a "digital superintelligence layer" to link humans with artificial intelligence, a technology he views as an existential threat to humanity.

"Ultimately, we can do a full brain-machine interfaces where we can achieve a sort of symbiosis with AI," Musk said. One goal along the way will be letting people type 40 words per minute just by thinking.

Neuralink - Humanity - Researchers - Regulators - Society

Neuralink has the potential to dramatically reshape both computing and humanity -- if it and like-minded researchers can persuade regulators and society at large that we should be directly wired to machines. That's a big if. The challenges are immense when it comes to developing the technology, making it practical and affordable, and convincing people it's safe and desirable.

The startup uses sewing machine-like technology this year to drill small holes into...
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